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Chris Rene, the 28-year old finalist of The X Factor from Santa Cruz, California, was destined to be a musician. It's in his blood, in fact, as his grandfather, Leon Rene, is a famous songwriter and record label owner, and his father played piano, which gave a very young Chris a very early music education.|
When he was twelve, Chris begged his mother to buy him a guitar, promising her, "If you buy me one, I'll never put it down." He made good on that promise and started his first band, Diversion, in 1995 when he was just 12 years old. The group was the youngest punk band - complete with dyed spiked hair and punk rock duds - on the Santa Cruz music scene. But Chris soon found himself exposed to the drug scene, developing a drug and alcohol habit that plagued him for nearly a decade.
A father of two, Chris got clean in 2006 and with a newfound sense of clarity, started finding inspiration in music other than punk. He'd always liked Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley, and even the ultimate piano man, Billy Joel and soon found a love for hip-hop and rap music. Blending his favorite musical styles into one, he released his first solo record, Soul'd Out, in 2009. He soon fell off the wagon, only to find recovery again as of April 20, 2011 and today works his program daily to stay clean.
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